Back in May I wrote about how I made my own lime cordial for making gimlets. I mentioned how I found the recipe on the New York Times Magazine website, and while reading some of that author's archives, I came across his recipe for ginger beer. It can be found in his article entitled "Case Study: Cloudy with a Chance of Ginger."
Now, I have never been a huge ginger fan, though I do like ginger ale. The Dark & Stormy is always a popular summer drink, and having tried it with some store-bought ginger beer, I was not really impressed. However, I decided that maybe if I could make my own, I would like it better. So, I followed the author's recipe and gave it a shot.
It's really a pretty simple recipe. It involves grating ginger, juicing a couple of lemons, and making some simple syrup. All of these ingredients are combined, along with some yeast and filtered water, in a bottle, and put in a dark place to ferment. All of the amounts can be adjusted to your individual taste, so that it you'd like it a little sweeter or spicier, or a little less sweet or spicy, you can change it.
I originally had a bit of a problem in that it seems that the yeast didn't properly ferment the first time. After a couple of days I mixed up a little more yeast, this time letting in bloom in a bit of warm water before adding it to the bottle. It's important to keep an eye on the bottle for a few days in that the CO2 generated by the yeast will eventually cause the bottle to swell. If left unmonitored, it could burst, but this shouldn't be a huge problem.
After letting it ferment for a good 24 hours, I put it in the fridge to stop the fermentation process and, after straining it, moved it to a glass bottle. It ends up being slightly carbonated, which is nice. I mixed it with some dark rum, a squeeze of fresh lime, and the resulting drink was delicious. If you're a fan of ginger, or of Dark & Stormies, I'd highly recommend giving this one a shot.